Hyderpora encounter: Activists, kin of slain men seek report of magisterial probe

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Srinagar, Dec 20: Rights activists and relatives of the three men killed in the Hyderpora encounter last month have asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to make public the report of a magisterial probe into the incident.

“It has been more than a month since the government had ordered a magisterial probe into the fake encounter killings. We have a right to know about the outcome,” brother of Mohammad Altaf Bhat, one of the three slain men, said on Monday. Bhat, Mudasir Gul and his office boy — Amir Magray — were killed on November 15 in what the police called an encounter with terrorists. The relatives of the slain men term it “cold blooded murder”.

The trio were buried in Handwara area of Kupwara district by police but the bodies of Bhat and Gul were returned to their families three days later following a public outcry. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on November 18 ordered a magisterial probe into the killings.

District Magistrate Ajaz Assad promptly appointed additional district magistrate Khurshid Ahmad Shah as the inquiry officer with the direction to submit a report within 15 days. Calls and messages to Assad and Shah, seeking their response on the status of the report, went unanswered.

RTI activist Raja Muzaffar sought to know from the government about the fate of the report.

“Itz (sic) now more than a Month. Where is the Magisterial Inquiry Report?” Bhat asked in a tweet. The activist also posted a screenshot of the tweet of Lieutenant Governor Sinha in which he had ordered the inquiry.

“A magisterial inquiry by officer of ADM rank has been ordered in Hyderpora encounter. Govt will take suitable action as soon as report is submitted in a time-bound manner. JK admin reiterates commitment of protecting lives of innocent civilians & it will ensure there is no injustice,” Sinha had tweeted. (Agencies)